Jeep wranglers are famous for their incredible transmission system but it may go insanely bad sometimes. Here are the potential causes and quick fixes for these transmission problems.
Jeep wranglers are known as one of the best SUV vehicles with their incredible durability and versatility. Even though its transmission system is amazing enough to handle both the smooth and rockiest terrains, some consumers have reported some transmission shifting problems, over the past few years.
Some of those issues were severe enough that the company had to issue safety recalls for some models. What are the most common transmission shifting problems jeep wranglers come up with and what you can do to resolve them, we’re going to pen down everything here.
Give it a read so you won’t have to face any hustle during your fun driving down the road.
Delayed transmission shifting is one of the most common problems in four-wheel drive vehicles like 42RE cars. Your wrangler will behave abnormally while shifting from first gear to third or fourth gear. As simple as it sounds, delayed shifting can be severely dangerous. It not only puts your security at risk but also disturbs you during off-roading.
Another thing that makes delayed shifting even worse is that you can’t recognize it since no indicator light beams on the dashboard. The warning lights will appear when this delayed shifting would be done with other terrible damages to your jeep’s interior components.
Speaking of the causes of the delayed shifting they could be numerous. For example, it might be a result of low fluid levels. Due to this, the metal parts of the transmission system don’t run smoothly and often grind with each other which causes delays and unusual noises.
Likewise, it might be caused by damaged or worm bands. The transmission bands are responsible for gear engagements, transmission shifting, and shifting at high RMPs. So when the transmission bands wear out, you experience delayed shifting, problems while shifting at high RMPs, rough and no reverse shifting, and zero gear engagements.
Another reason behind this delayed transmission is the worn-out solenoid. The solenoid is responsible for maintaining fluid pressure up to the specification. So when this part gets damaged, the fluid level drops to an undesirable level, causing problems while shifting from one to third gear. Besides, faulty computation and wiring may also lead to delayed transmission.
Remember that early diagnosis may help you save hundreds of dollars so whenever you suspect that your wrangler is not shifting between gears smoothly, you better take your car to a repair shop, as soon as possible.
No Gear Engagement
As the name implies, the transmission gears of your Jeep Wrangler fail to engage properly, especially while driving it in reverse. This problem is mostly caused by low fluid levels. For proper gear engagement, a specific pressure should be maintained in the system and this pressure is built by fluid. So whenever the fluid level drops, the gears don’t engage.
Besides, this problem may also arise from using the wrong transmission fluid. Especially if you live in a cooler region, you need to get special fluid that doesn’t freeze at minus temperature. Likewise, the same issue may appear if your vehicle contains contaminated transmission oil. And if you haven’t changed the transmission fluid for a long time, the dirty transmission fluid may also trigger poor or no gear engagement.
Another common cause of this issue is disconnected or loose transmission coolers. Due to loose fitting, the transmission fluid escapes from the torque converter which in turn reduces the fluid level and thus, gears take forever to engage until the required pressure is built up.
This issue is commonly found in some popular models of jeep wrangler but they are most common in five-speed transmission vehicles like 525RFE. Like the previous one, your engine check light will blink informing you about this issue. However, if you face the same issue with no engine check lights on, it means the issue is caused by adversely cold weather.
The torque converter is a component that is either directly or indirectly connected to various other essential parts of your vehicle such as the clutch, turbine, impeller pump, transmission gears, etc. So, whenever a problem arises in your torque converter, it affects the overall performance of your transmission system.
In this problem, your car doesn’t run smoothly but shudders or shakes while driving. Sometimes, you also experience a sudden gear slip or gear change due to the same issue. Besides, faulty speed sensors (both input and output ones) and faulty throttle position sensors are also common causes behind overdrive issues.
Luckily, jeep wranglers are designed in a way that whenever an overdrive issue arises in your car, it is indicated via the corresponding code. By decoding the code, you can easily identify the root cause behind the problem.
For example, if your wrangler is having an overdrive issue, the computational system of the jeep will notify you about it via a special P1740 code. On the other hand, if the issue originated due to faulty speed sensors, you’ll be notified about it via special speed-related codes.
Another shifting malfunction that jeep Wrangler owners have been facing for a long time are gear slips. In this, your vehicle may pop out of first gear which feels like a shock the first time. You would be driving your wrangler calmly and then suddenly your Jeep would jerk forward and slip out of the first gear. There could be plenty of reasons behind this transmission issue.
Worn or damaged shift forks are one of the most common causes behind it. If your wrangler is quite old and has been used for a long time, its shift fork might have gone through considerable wear and tear. Besides the shift fork, the worn shifter itself could be a potential cause of this gear transmission malfunction. Just as in the case of shift fork, shifters that have undergone gradual abuse come up with this issue.
Asides from the damaged or worn parts, transmission fluid may also lead to gear slips. As we all know, it’s the transmission fluid that ensures that all the moving parts are working properly and stay lubricated. When this fluid gets dirty or old, it ends up in sporadic gear changes. The good thing here is that the transmission fluid does need to be changed that often. However, it still should be a part of regular service and maintenance.
According to the jeep Wrangler’s manufacturer, your jeep’s transmission fluid must be flushed and changed after 60,000 miles.
Limp mode is designed to keep your Jeep from overworking. When this mode gets on, your jeep’s computational system registers the vehicle as an overworked one after which it doesn’t allow your vehicle to move past the second gear. Resultantly, you have to drive your JK with limited acceleration which might be so overwhelming, especially when you are getting late for something important.
The only way out of this problem is to reset your jeep’s computer. Unfortunately, we’ve not figured out the reason why your Jeep goes into limp mode all of the sudden.
Even though Jeep wrangler vehicles are designed to work under tough conditions, its transmission system might get overheated when placed under a huge load, for climbing rocky, sloped terrain, or for towing something colossal.
When it happens, the hot oil light on your dashboard gets illuminated. Sadly, this indicator light illuminates at the end moment – when your Jeep transmission system has gone damaged. At this stage, the life expectancy of your transmission system has reached its end so there’s nothing you can do to revive it.
Although there’s no guaranteed fix for this problem, all you can do about it is to take proper preventive measures. In this respect, you may consider installing an aftermarket cooler on your JK transmission system but doing so may void your vehicle’s warranty.
How do I know if my Jeep transmission is bad?
The most obvious sign of a bad transmission system is erratic gear slips. Besides, unusual knocking or clicking sounds, burning smells, and the strong aroma of transmission fluid are also some common signs of a bad transmission system.
Why is my Jeep not shifting?
There could be several reasons behind delayed or no gear shifting of which, the most common ones being dirty or low transmission fluid. In addition to this, the problem may also arise due to loosely fitted or disengaged transmission coolers.
Can a clogged transmission filter cause shifting problems?
For sure it can. When your transmission filter is clogged or blocked, the transmission fluid won’t be able to circulate through the system properly as a result of which, the moving parts of your vehicle won’t be lubricated as they should. This in turn may lead to gear shifting problems, slipping transmission, grinding gears, and many other transmission problems.
What year did the Jeep Wrangler have transmission problems?
Almost all the year models of jeep wrangler are showing transmission problems but these issues are particularly common in 2000 models and later.
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